Reports that the super trawler Geelong Star has killed more fur seals is dreadful in its own right, and all the more alarming for what it says about fisheries management in Australia and the disregard the Federal Government is showing for the environment.
The undeniable fact is that super trawlers kill seals, dolphins, albatrosses and who knows what else. They also deplete local fish stocks and threaten other commercial fishing operations and tourism. Super trawlers have already gutted fisheries elsewhere in the world and that’s exactly what they’ll do in Australian waters if given the opportunity.
The Federal Government is completely out of step with the community on this issue, and it’s simply not good enough for the Government to hide behind the Australian Fisheries Management Authority or some legalistic definition of what exactly constitutes a super trawler. Canberra should disregard the commercial self-interest of one company and instead focus on the public interest, starting with putting an end immediately to any more fishing by the Geelong Star.